Harris Farm Markets plan to make its new Cooks Hill site the biggest of all its stores

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Brother act: Luke Harris, left, with brothers Angus and Tristan at the new Harris Farm Market in Cooks Hill. Picture: Simone De PeakHARRIS Farm Markets splashed more than $5 million on its new Cooks Hill store, with its co-chief executive officer Luke Harris labelling it the “biggest, most impressive” food market in the Southern Hemisphere.

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On site at the 227 Darby Street store, Sydney-based Mr Harris said HFM had opted to move from Glendale for more space at Cooks Hill.

At 1200sqm, the Darby Streetsite is three times bigger, and when a second building is refurbished for more retail it will become HFM’s largest store.

The refurbishment of the first building, which in the past houseda restaurant and various businesses, encountered delays including a mining tunnel foundbeneath the car park.But it was rewarding.

“It’s such a big, old, amazing building. We pulled down the roof and it was like a cathedral, the timber is beautiful,” Mr Harris said, adding that the original, early 1900s building was amachinery shed for nearby wool stores.

Mr Harris said the Cooks Hill store features its “world class” fruit and vegetables and other market “experiences” including a full-scale butcher, a fish shop with fish cafe, a giant cheese selection, a milk bar featuring ‘pour your own’ milk and a global food arcade.

There is also what he’s referred to as the “Willy Wonka bakery” –in fact, Maryville’s Uprising bakery, which has a retail shop and baking facilities that are literally “in the sky”, on a mezzanine level.

“It’s a ‘breadfall’ –we are baking it, pulling it out of the oven and it goes on to a bread fall [conveyer belt- and the customer pulls a rope and it dispenses in front of them and they put it in a bag,” said Uprising’s Alice Lees.

The bakery stocks a similar range to Uprising’s Maryville location but also has new frozen products:uncooked pizza dough bases and uncooked croissants for people to cook at home.

There’s also espresso bar Cadre Coffee, byEast End cafe and roastery Moor.

Despite its proximity to Marketown and Aldi, Mr Harris says the area was “crying out” for HFM.

“This is our flagship and our store of the future,” he said of the site, for which HFM has a 20-year lease.

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